"At the end of the day, he really felt like he wanted to go off and do the movies that he ended up doing, which were sort of darker.”
The Little Mermaid (2023) director Rob Marshall approached Harry Styles to play Eric, Ariel’s love interest, in the live-action remake film coming out next month, he revealed in a recent exclusive.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Marshall said he “met with” the Adore You singer and “he was lovely.”
Marshall continued, “What a wonderful guy. But at the end of the day, he really felt like he wanted to go off and do the movies that he ended up doing, which were sort of darker.”
Those movies ended up being the psychological thriller film Don’t Worry Darling and the LGBTQIA+ romantic drama, My Policeman.
Marshall cited singers’ tendency for trying to find themselves and added, “For a lot of young musical people like Harry, you’re trying to carve your way, and you don’t want to be seen as a singer, necessarily.
“That’s why he was really looking to do something not in the musical genre, to really stretch himself. It was really a fun idea to play with, but in the end, I always think things happen for a reason. I’m so happy to have two young, new people in the film.”
Harry Styles was also in contention for the titular role of Elvis in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic film about the music legend, released last year.
Instead, Luhrmann cast Austin Butler, revealing on the radio podcast Fitzy & Wippa why he chose Butler over Styles.
“Harry is a really talented actor. I would work on something with him [but] the real issue with Harry is, he’s Harry Styles,” Luhrmann said.
"He’s already an icon. Harry and I came to a place, genuinely; I mean, he was just desperate to put the suit on and explore. He’s such a great spirit, and I have nothing but great things to say about Harry Styles.
"The thing about Austin was that he will tell you himself, I didn’t pick him: It’s as if he was drawn like the role drew him in because he was almost born to play it.”
The Little Mermaid (2023) is coming to cinemas in Australia on 25 May. Check out the trailer below.